Boundless Robotics’ Annaboto Is An A.I.-Infused At-Home Cannabis Grower With Larger Dreams |

Boundless Robotics’ Annaboto Is An A.I.-Infused At-Home Cannabis Grower With Larger Dreams

Fascinated with robots from an early age, Carl Palme said he was initially inspired by Johnny 5 from the 80s movie Short Circuit. The ‘star’ robot wasn’t just useful and intuitive, it was also cool and had some personality. With his latest venture, Boundless Robotics, Palme is innovating cannabis growing at home, using an A.I.-enabled planter called the Annaboto. Like his inspiration, the new machine is intuitive, chic and possibly the first step in a larger mission. 

While the Annaboto will enable marijuana consumers to easily grow their own cannabis at home with little effort, Palme sees it as the first stepping stone towards the lofty goal of helping people across America grow 5% of their food at home by 2030. 

Palme started Boundless Robotics in 2019, bootstrapping the first couple of years while he and a small team tested technology while doing market research out of their Boston Seaport office.

He put up $25,000 of his own money to incorporate the company and purchase the sensors, pumps and other equipment they needed to produce a prototype. By 2021, Boundless Robotics had raised $765K from friends, family, and a VC to productize and make Annaboto beta units to test in the field. In late 2022, Palme said, the company raised $1.2M at the end of the year to mass produce the product, certify it and start marketing and sales efforts.

“The process was very challenging because Annaboto is primarily a cannabis growing product and there is still a lot of stigma associated with the industry. Often, people just assume that if you work in cannabis, you are a criminal or clown or pothead, and they would rather not invest despite all the qualifications the team had and the traction we had made,” Palme said.

“Annaboto is our first product and will serve as a platform to help us gain a deep understanding of what it takes to grow large crops in densely populated cities” he added. “We will learn about how people live with these plants at home and how to use any water source on the planet. We want to help people effortlessly grow any crop at home with a product that they can live next to and be proud of.”

In the meantime, Palme said the company has been working to establish a solid supply chain, pick a contract manufacturing partner and ramp up production from shipping 100 units a month to 1,000 or 10,000 a month. Boundless also did a ton of market research as they went along, finding cannabis users young and old wanted “something that looked incredible, that fit in their living spaces and that they could use as a platform to speak with their friends and family about their decision to consume cannabis for health and wellness,” Palme said. 

As of November, Palme said the company has made and shipped approximately 150 beta units and is in the process of shipping its first 50 production units. By the end of the year, he said, they hope to have shipped 500 units and plan to ship between 5,000-10,000 units during 2024. 

Palme said his personal inability to keep a plant alive was a major factor when creating the Annaboto, thus users are just required to change the water weekly and press a button. Proprietary A.I. takes care of the rest, including watering schedules, light cycles and nutrient management, according to Palme. Boundless partnered with the North Atlantic Seed Company to curate and provide seeds for their consumable kits, which also include a nutrient cartridge, odor filter and a growing medium for the hydroponic robot. Annaboto also comes with a phone app that allows users to check in on the plant at any time, estimate harvest date, monitor the environment and adjust settings on the fly. After a 90-day growth cycle, users can expect to harvest approximately two to three ounces of flower. 

“I think that one of the most important things we are doing as a company is helping elevate cannabis. Cannabis is very helpful to a lot of people and is a good recreational alternative to alcohol,” Palme said. “People who consume cannabis should no longer be stigmatized and we can help them in this effort by showing others how this is just a plant. With Annaboto, any adult can grow cannabis (where it’s legal) and show off their plant. As an engineer, I think the plant’s symmetry and how it grows is a beautiful experience.”

Regulations and laws are constantly changing, so it’s important to always understand what is allowed in your state and whether cannabis is designated for recreational and/or medicinal use. 

In the next coming years, Palme said he wants Boundless Robotics to expand into the European market.

“Cannabis is giving us a great teaching platform as the plant is difficult to grow and a large size,” Palme said. “If we can succeed with cannabis, we can succeed with many other crops.”

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